Now morning television has taken notice, and Today has selected them to take part in a "Marketing Makeover" segment for small businesses across the country that are looking to take their business to the next level. Marketing guru Martin Lindstrom will spend a day working with the Worleys to discover the ins and outs of their operation and then suggest a new branding for their business. While I'm personally quite fond of Biscuit Love, it never hurts to have a professional make some suggestions. (But if it ends up as "Biscuitopia" or he changes the "c" to an uppity "q" in the word "biscuit," I'll take umbrage.)
The new branding will be released in a Marketing Makeover Reveal Party at White's Mercantile in 12South today, Dec. 11, from 4 to 8 p.m., and the Worleys would love to have a good local crowd there to share in the excitement. The Today show's correspondent Erica Hill will be the reporter covering the piece, and they'll be filming her segments from 4 to 6, so come early.
Here are the details:
2908 12th Ave. S.
Nashville, TN 37204
Time: Dinner service from 4-8 p.m., with live music
Don't bother to bring one of those annoying signs that people always wave behind Al Roker's head. Nobody really cares that the Pink Hat Society of Hattiesburg, Miss., is "taking on Manhattan."
So, it was with some trepidation that I headed to 1306 McGavock Pike, the new location of Mitchell Deli, just one block away from its old much-beloved location at 1402 McGavock. The restaurant closed its old doors on Nov. 28 and reopened in the new, bigger space on December 4. Crossing Riverside Drive to get to the new location shouldn’t be that big of a deal. It is less than one block away. But Mitchell has been at its old location since 2008, meaning it was in Riverside Village before anything in Inglewood was cool. It has a certain nostalgia, if you can be nostalgic about something so new you can remember when it didn't exist.
Well, change-adverse Inglewooders, you can stop holding your breath. The new Mitchell Deli is bigger and fancier than our old favorite, but it is the same old sandwich spot. The menu is slightly enlarged, with some specials, like the Asian flank steak, now on the regular menu. (I’m hoping more space means more varieties of Bagel Face bagels to be added in the near future.) The ingredient list is still weighted heavily toward goods that are made nearby. There’s a soda bar, and draft beer is in the works.
Brad Mortensen is the Nashville brewmaster at Rock Bottom, and he was excited to get to play with a new recipe. I have to say that I thought the result was fantastic. Winter Tartan is a traditional Scottish ale with a smooth, malty flavor and a hint of vanilla. There's a nice toasted chocolate character from the use of caramel malt, and just the right amount of hoppiness to make it interesting without overpowering the seasonal flavors.
Winter Tartan is available exclusively at the Broadway location of Rock Bottom at least through the end of the year. They've also added some seasonal items to the food menu like a Swiss Portobello Burger to accompany the new brew, so drop by before a Preds game to try them out.
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
Participants will start with a Turkish-style fish dish, discover what makes this dish work; and move onto soup, changing garnishes to examine different taste sensations. Next comes salad greens, vinaigrette, and a lovely spicy lamb app where the class boldly challenges the art of Tunisian heat. Save a little room, because it will all be capped off with a decadent dessert, whereby the class picks one of three dessert wines as the winner.
But wait, that's not all. Not even close. Kevin McCauley, the manager of Hattie B's, is teaching five different classes this year. I attended one of his seminars last year and found it to be very entertaining and informative. And delicious. For 2014, McCauley will join with Hattie B's John Lasater for a class called Southern Basics. There are rumors of both traditional and hot fried chicken on the menu, so wear your eatin' pants. McCauley will also teach technique classes based around pizza, pasta and seafood, as well as how to plan the ultimate brunch.
Lisa Mays will reprise her Paella Party class that she offered at Natchez Hills Winery over the summer. Like paella, comfort food is on the menu at two other classes, Easy Winter Comfort Food taught by Merijoy Lantz Rucker of Whole Foods, and Vegan Comfort Food for All from Chef Rusty Johnson of Grins Vegetarian Cafe. I've taken classes from both of these instructors in the past and can promise you won't go home disappointed or hungry.
Will Uhlhorn of Miel answers a question that is frequently asked here in Landlockedopolis with his class Learn to Cook and Source Seafood. (Apparently the answer does not involve a Captain named D or a pirate named Long John Silver.) As director of the Grow Local Kitchen at the Nashville Farmers’ Market, Chef Laura Wilson has a lot of experience teaching culinary classes, so USN is lucky that she has volunteered to teach a seminar titled Yes You Can: Pickles and Preserves. People who have attended a similar seminar at the NFM have told me it's a great class.
Another opportunity that has me intrigued is a market tour and dinner hosted by the fabulous Jennifer Justus. She'll be leading and excursion into the international side of our Nashville’s cuisine, specifically Kurdish food. According to the course description, "This will include learning about Kurdish flatbread, eating dinner at Shish Kabob, and imbibing a dessert of ice cream with saffron and rosewater. Vegetarian options include dishes like Tabbouleh, Falafel and Ash Paz (a blend of feta cheese, sour cream, walnuts and spices) served with Kurdish flatbread." Unfortunately, I'll be teaching a class on Feb. 26 while this tour is going on, so I hope somebody can report on how awesome it was.
I first noticed the sign earlier this year, but it seemed I never had the time to stop in; some other errand was always more pressing. But when I was the one in charge of picking up a Jet’s pizza recently, I decided to stop in and see what it was all about.
First things first, I asked about the sign, which simply reads, “TEA SPICES BEADS.” Turns out, the store began as a bead store (and the sign just read, “BEADS”), which served the needs of people who make jewelry and crafts. Then the owners, Phillip and Mitzi McCartha, decided to expand the business to include loose-leaf teas, herbs, and spices for sale. The back rooms of the store still carry the beads and jewelry, but the front is devoted to edible gems.
On one side is a large selection (more than 60 types) of teas — black, green, white, rooibos, chai, yerba maté, herbal and so on — and on the other is a large selection of spices (more than 100!); a wall at the back has a selection of herbs. The spices include a variety of salts, peppers, cinnamon (including Vietnamese cinnamon) and spice blends (such as curries). And all are housed in easily opened sealed containers so you can sniff and test as you like. You can buy in bulk by the ounce or choose one ounce pre-packaged bags.
But to save you a little time, here are some highlights. While the classes I teach might not necessarily be the highlights, since I have the power of the pen (err ... keyboard), I get to lead off with the three seminars I'm leading with some very talented co-instructors. Since my classes generally involve booze and are held in some really cool houses of USN parents, they usually sell out, so jump on it! Plus, I've saved up a year's worth of swag from various food and drink events, so most participants go home with door prizes. I don't remember that happening in any of my college history seminars.
David Paine (Mr. Martini) and I will be reprising our popular Classic Cocktails & Scintillating Spirits class on Feb. 26. The syllabus promises: "Participants will leave the class with more knowledge about bourbon, scotch, brandy and gin as well as some great recipes for home entertaining. Chances are good that these experts will help students discover a new favorite go-to drink." We will do our best to follow through with that promise.
I've enjoyed teaching with the always entertaining Kim Totzke from Provence over the past few years, and this year we've decided to just go ahead and scrap the specific thematic class that we've done in the past, since our classes usually devolve into a fun night of drinking, teaching and storytelling. So we're just calling this one What We're Drinking (And You Should Be Too).
However, Stewart has released a new product under the Mountain Jim’s umbrella that would make a very appropriate gift. Like many of us, Stewart remembered Tennessee T-Cakes, a local product that blew up crazy-large after Oprah included them in her list of Favorite Things in 2006. Unfortunately, Tennessee T-Cakes was a one-woman operation, and when Frances Ann Barkley passed away a few years back, she took the recipe and the operation with her.
So Stewart took to his kitchen and started to experiment with recipes to re-create the flavors of the beloved little confections. After a lot of trial and error, he has developed Mountain Jim’s Tennessee Tea Cakes, which if my palate has a decent memory, are pretty darned close to the original. Crafted in small batches from natural ingredients and no preservatives, Mountain Jim’s Tennessee Teacakes come in four varieties: Original, Lemon, Key Lime and Chocolate Truffle.
More accurately, the base of all the varieties is the Original, a vanilla-flavored cake dusted with powdered sugar that has a delightful texture somewhere between a brownie and a cupcake. The other varieties are made bay adding glazes or a big chunk of chocolate on top.
The teacakes are available in two-packs at The Produce Place if you want to try some out, or if you want to send them in bulk in boxes or decorative tins, you can email orders to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (615) 485-9335. For corporate orders, Stewart can even personalize your tin with a company logo, or you can just pick one of his standard white or black containers. Here’s his pricing:
Etch tops Zagat's list. In fact, Etch made the list of the "20 Top-Rated Restaurants Across America." Etch isn't in my top 5 Nashville eateries, but it's certainly in the top 10, and I've had a couple of very good meals there.
Zagat did include several of my faves: Smiling Elephant, Marché, Silly Goose, Lockeland Table, Prince's Hot Chicken Shack. But Kobe Steaks? Really? And no City House or Rolf and Daughters? Of course, opinions are opinions, but this list reminded me why it's worth taking Zagat — and Urbanspoon, and Yelp, and TripAdvisor — with a grain of fleur de sel. And then there's this.
I don't want to go on too much more, because I'm more interested in what Bites readers have to say. So take a look, and let us know what you think. And what other food news has you talking?
"How does South restaurant and bar on Demonbreun represent The South?" Fox asks. Well, she notes, if you stand on the patio, you'll see Nashville's booming downtown and the Gulch, "construction cranes nodding and bowing at every depth of field, lifting more steel and concrete onto the gleaming skyline of the New South." She adds:
Yet step inside South and the view is more retrospective, with murals of dead generals and hoop-skirted Southern belles dominating the pubby decor. There are few establishments outside of Belle Meade Country Club where one can sup under the rueful gaze of the late Robert E. Lee, so the general's floating head sparked an interesting debate at our table. It went something like this: At a time when the South is arguably more dynamic, inclusive and innovative than at any time in history, a time when people are moving here and visiting in record numbers, what does the cartoon antebellum imagery of a restaurant called "South" convey about Southerners? If we brought our Yankee friends to dine on eggs named for Confederate generals, what would they think? Would they think we're all sipping Mason jars of sweet tea and reminiscing about plantation days?
Of course, they might reserve such Reconstruction deconstruction for another venue, since arguably, it's a heavier topic than a cheerful and well-executed menu of pimiento cheese, deviled eggs and Jefferson Davis chicken salad (with pickled grapes and candied pecans) demands. It's enough to make you set down your Jackson burger (on Provence bun with bacon and pimento cheese) and ask how we got into this navel-gazing in the first place. After all, we were just looking for Yazoo on draft, bottomless mimosas and $3 Thursday appetizers, not a history lesson.
Fox has special praise for two particularly Southern specialties at the restaurant: hospitality (in the form of friendly service) and fried food. "Whoever's in charge of the fryer has got the Midas touch," she says.
And now to you, Bites Nation. Let me lob this one your way. Anybody been to South? Bourbon French toast sounds delicious (and noncontroversial). Jefferson Davis chicken salad? Discuss.
Ironically, buttoned-up Utah was the state that tipped the balance on the 21st Amendment by voting for ratification and putting it over the required three-quarters majority to repeal the 18th Amendment. There's a fascinating infographic here that shows how far we have and haven't come since 1933 and how attitudes have changed over the years. I was unaware that there were only 10 other states that share our "no sales on Sunday" law. I would've though it was more widespread than that, but maybe that will be addressed as part of the grocery store wine sales debate next year.
So how should you celebrate Repeal Day? The official website makes it easy:
There are no outfits to buy, costumes to rent, rivers to dye green. Simply celebrate the day by stopping by your local bar, tavern, saloon, winery, distillery, or brewhouse and having a drink. Pick up a six-pack on your way home from work. Split a bottle of wine with a loved one. Buy a shot for a stranger. Just do it because you can.
That sounds like something I can handle. Cheers!
While I have yet to venture in for a meal on my own, I have…
@chain gang good catch! The pizza wasn't for me, actually (I was taking it to…
Kobe? That should not be in the top 15. The food is mediocre at best,…
Wait a minute. Jets? You were 6/10 of a mile away from Real NY Pie…
what a fantastic find! will definitely have to make a trip out to your neck…